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Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Sorrowful Past Tense

To speak of love or loved ones in the past tense is to die inside, if only just a little. No matter how beautiful the sentiment or how luscious the reverie, the fact that they exist only in the past haunts and darkens.

Compare and contrast: “She swore I was her lover for life” as opposed to, “She swears I am her lover for life.” The latter is now a former truth. The former is the truth I bear, though the heart bleeds and the soul aches. The latter statement once filled me with boundless hope...a sentiment so beautiful and profound that I began to build a life on that foundation. Sadly, it was but a passing truth...a dream more than a truth, actually. The former is now my reality, but it exists as only a melancholy memory. The statement, once so clear, so definite, is now laden with questions: Who failed whom? How and why?

When we speak of lovers and love, the tense makes all the difference.

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